Monday, March 31, 2008

Wegmans Saga Part Two

click to enlarge
I am one of those dogs who can’t help but sniff out a zoning notice so when I spotted one at the proposed Wegmans site on Snowden River Parkway and McGaw Road I had to stop and check it out.

It appears that Wegmans is not taking “no” for an answer on their bid to include a 92 foot clock tower as part of their store.

I don’t see why the clock tower is a problem. It is not an advertising sign, it is an architectural feature. Since this proposed clock tower would be just down the road from a 120 foot (+/- ) water tower it would not exactly be ruining the skyline.


Anonymous said...

Are you saying just because there's already something that tall in that area that that justifies anything else really tall there, too?

Unlike the water tower, which is a necessity for the community and needs to be that height to deliver water properly throughout its distribution area, the clock tower is merely a device, possibly trying to invoke, although scaled up, a sense of small town main street shopping aesthetics. Or possibly to attract a little more business by using height to achieve visibility from greater distances.

And, more than just a passive architectural feature and unlike the water tower, the clock tower will have a face or faces bearing a large brightly-illuminated surface. Like it or not, a large artificially-illuminated clock face at a substanstial height does serve as advertising of an attraction at a given location, while also obscuring the natural beauty of the night sky.

Columbia's architectural provisions have safeguarded for years to some extent against attention-getting devices transgressing against the shared vista. I do think there have been some shortcomings in those protections, however. As some of the areas along 175 and Snowden River Parkway have been cleared and developed, much larger and more visible illuminated signage, much more illuminated fields of asphalt, and relatively less accompanying landscaping (berms, trees, etc.) or retained mature flora have become a disturbingly unattractive addition. Wasn't Columbia's original design intent meant to ensure pleasant aesthetics, day and night?

Commerce, like water, is a necessity, but it shouldn't cost a child's view of the moon and the stars.

Kiki said...

The previous comment is a perfect example of everything I despise about Columbia. If pretentiousness was taxable the entire state of Maryland could operate off of Columbia generated tax revenues alone.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you take offense that many of us do care about our surroundings, their necessary preservation, and protecting the ability of others to enjoy them.

But thanks for citing Columbia as a tax revenue resource. After all, we Columbians, as demonstrated by our additional CPRA liens, don't mind paying more for the common good. ;)

Freemarket said...

Anon- if you wish to pay more in taxes to support the "common good", please send the government additional money. Be sure to refuse any tax refunds, also.

CPRA is not a tax and should not be misconstured as such.

Anonymous said...


agree with your comments completely..